How cheap can you make a tire before it becomes a total mess? That’s a question that many enthusiasts ask themselves, and sadly, not many other people. And, it’s important, you know. Having good tires on your car means being safe in various weather conditions. It means having short braking distances, high levels of comfort, and long treadlife.
Sadly, not many cheap tires provide those qualities. Usually, you will lose in almost every category, and especially on slippery surfaces. Cheap tires might look like a nice purchase, but remember that you should never put a price on safety. And, that’s where Kenda’s tire comes in. The company designs and produces cheap tires, but not as cheap as some Chinese competitors like Lionhart, Lexani, and Ironman.
Moreover, Kenda Tires works under the umbrella of Cooper Tire, an American tire company that’s already a staple on the continent. That’s great because it means that Kenda can borrow some of the advanced tread compounds and tread patterns of the more experienced Cooper Tire. It also means that the tires are fully developed and researched, unlike the cheapest Chinese tires on the market.
Kenda is a Taiwanese company that is very popular within the cycling, motorcycling, and ATV community. So, it will be interesting to see how the company’s passenger car tires fare when compared to the stiff competition. In this Kenda tires review, I’ll give you my five favorite car tires from the company. Then, I will also revisit all the advantages and disadvantages of owning a set of Kenda tires.
Let’s get into more detail, shall we?
Best All-Season Touring Tire
The Vezda Touring A/S offers everything a budget-minded buyer might want. The tire has safe handling characteristics, which are especially good for the price. Moreover, the braking distances are very short, and the hydroplaning resistance is excellent.
Meanwhile, Kenda provides a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty on the tires, which is exceptional for the price. Also, passengers will not complain about loud or uncomfortable ride. That said, premium tires are better in almost every category, albeit at a much higher price point.
Best Performance Tire
The Vezda UHP A/S is an ultra-high-performance all-season tire for drivers that want responsive and reliable handling. Of course, you shouldn’t expect super-high levels of performance on the track, but on the street, the Vezda UHP is very enjoyable.
Still, Kenda could make improvements in comfort – the ride can be harsh sometimes, and there is noise coming from the tires at highway speeds. Also, despite the all-season moniker, the tire isn’t very usable over snow.
Best Highway Tire
The Klever H/T2 was developed in the U.S. in order to better suit the needs of American truck drivers. And, that shows in the way this tire behaves. The casing seems very durable and tough, while the treadlife is exceptional. Kenda even covers the tire with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
Moreover, the tire is safe at highway speeds and behaves well in wet conditions. Still, Kenda could work on snow-traction improvements in the future.
Best Crossover Touring Tire
If you own a crossover and want a budget-friendly tire, the Klever S/T might be a good option. The tire performs safely on dry and wet roads. Moreover, the ride is smooth and quiet, while the treadlife is the best in this price range.
That said, snow traction is an issue – you shouldn’t trust this tire in severe and harsh wintry conditions.
Best Low-Rolling Resistance Tire
The Vezda Eco is not only cheap to buy, but it will also pay for itself in the long run. Thanks to the low-rolling-resistance technology, the tire saves fuel while you drive.
Moreover, the Vezda Eco performs safely on dry roads and is usable on wet surfaces. However, I still wouldn’t trust it in severe wintry weather.
On a more positive note, the 60,000-mile treadwear warranty is excellent for the price.
Kenda Tires Review: Buying Guide
Kenda is a budget-oriented manufacturer of car tires. Its portfolio is very detailed and consists of many models for passenger cars, sports cars, SUVs, trucks, trailers, and vans.
Moreover, the company offers tires with all-season, summer, and winter tread compounds, unlike many other cheap tire manufacturers.
In categories, Kenda’s lineup includes touring tires, grand-touring tires, high-performance tires, and highway tires. That said, Kenda still doesn’t offer any all-terrain od mud-terrain tires in its lineup, so here is hope that they will rectify that quickly.
Overall, though, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right size for your car. Kenda covers the most popular sizes with its portfolio of tires, starting from 13 inches and up to 18 inches.
1. Kenda Tires Positive Aspects
Stable and Grippy
Almost every tire in Kenda’s lineup offers stable and grippy handling on dry surfaces. The tires perform well in various temperatures and have responsive handling, good levels of cornering grip, good traction for acceleration, and short braking distances.
Compared to tires from Lionhart, Lexani, Ironman, and similar manufacturers, Kenda is a step above in terms of performance. That’s not only important for driving enjoyment, but also safety.
Moreover, this shows that researching and testing the tires before they hit the road is important. Kenda tests each new tire rigorously to make sure that it performs well and be safe for the driver and passengers.
Good Treadlife for the Price
Kenda’s tires are far from the most durable on the market. However, when you put the price into consideration, they become a very good proposition in the long run.
Tires purchased from the Taiwanese company will definitely last longer than other cheap Chinese tires, up to 20,000-miles. That’s not insignificant, especially because Kenda tires don’t cost a lot more than those tires.
Besides, Kenda also provides excellent treadwear warranties on its tires, starting from 50,000-miles and up to 65,000-miles. That’s a premium-tire territory, mind you.
Usable in Wet Conditions
I may sound repetitive, but Kenda is head and shoulders above other cheap Chinese tires in rainy conditions. Handling is predictable, the braking distances are shorter, and overall, the car will be safer.
And, while I won’t recommend cheap Chinese tires for driving on wet tarmac, I’ll say that the Kenda tires are at least usable.
Kenda prides itself on offering tires at budget-friendly prices. However, those prices aren’t as low as what Lexani or Lionhart offers.
Not that this is a bad thing – it means that Kenda at least cares about offering safe and reliable tire options. And, at least in my opinion, paying 10% more for Kenda tires brings significant improvement in performance, especially on wet surfaces. There is no comparison, really.
2. Kenda Tires Negative Aspects
Less Responsive for Performance Driving
Now, I already said that Kenda tires perform well, but that’s within the price category. When you compare these tires to premium alternatives, the difference is still substantial.
Overall, the Kenda doesn’t feel as good to drive as tires from Cooper Tire, General Tire, Hankook, Sumitomo, Kumho, Firestone, etc. These tires are the clear winners in terms of handling and braking, and they are also much more responsive to drive.
Still Not the Best Option for Heavy Rain
Wait, didn’t I already say that Kenda tires are good in rainy conditions? Well, that’s when you compared them to cheap Chinese tires. Put them against premium tires, and the difference isn’t negligible.
If you want to push your hard harder in the rain, or just want a safer tire overall, then you should be prepared to pay more. Kenda’s tires are good on wet surfaces, but they are certainly not exceptional.
As you’ve probably noticed throughout this review, the overall theme of Kenda tires is that they are great for the price. They offer safe handling on dry and wet surfaces and very good treadlife.
Moreover, compared to products from other cheap tire companies, such as Lexani, Lionhart, Ironman, and Milestar, Kenda is a clear favorite.
For only 10% added cost, Kenda tires perform much better across the range, and they also last much longer. In my opinion, there is no doubt that Kenda tires are a better purchase.
However, keep in mind that you can get an even better drive and more durable tread in premium tires, including those from the parent company, Cooper Tires.